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An insider tells us that IAC is considering finally pulling the plug on Teoma, the engine that powers Ask's search, and just using Google:
"There is indeed a big shakeup coming. A new Ask. Some think a reduction in workforce is likely. There are no sacred cows, Teoma may be sold or simply abandoned which is hundreds of engineers who work on the core search engine, in place of just using Google's search with our special brand of user interface."
Now if only MSN/Live would pick up and use Teoma, it would be like a dream come true.
Well, if Diller couldn't market it, not sure who'd be able to. Hope he doesn't just stuff it in a back room someplace but sells it off; too many good things behind it to let it all go to waste.
Ask to Dump Teoma and Use Google Search?
Yahoo! to Use Google Search?
Live to Use Google Search?
They're tumbling one at a time to the Great Gooliath. It won't be long before the others follow.
Google will, or I should say, is the World's repository for information. They are the Gorg. Within the Gorg will reside those such as Ask and whoever else gets assimilated in the near future, possibly Yahoo! Bill would never give in to the Gorg so Live would just cease to exist, an oxymoron so to say. The Gorg is growing quickly. "Google is search". Who can compete with Google now? Who? I don't mean to sound like the Google Cheerleading Squad but I'm more of a realist and the truth of the matter is, all of the above is true. :)
Hey, if that is where search is heading, I don't have any problem with that. As long as the ReGoorgitations serve a different sets of results, that works for me. I'd really like to see an SE that serves results randomly based on the first 50. :)
I don't think it is that gloomy yet for Yahoo! and Live. But, with the 4th player now joining forces with Google, or so the rumor says, that gives Google a few more percent of market share. At this point, neither Yahoo! or Live can afford to lose a "few" more percent to Google.
Makes me wonder whether there was a "rumor" leaked as bait to see if ears in Redmond would perk up and take notice, seeing they've been out on a shopping trip.
In a perfect world from where I sit, MSN/Live would acquire and utilize Teoma, which is one sweet piece of technology and always has been; and a far better choice on the part of Ask.com would be to partner with Yahoo! rather than Google, if only because of Ask's demographic and the potential they've got for portalizing within a niche they've always been strong in but never have capitalized on.
Thinking about Yahoo's acquisitions over a period of a few years (other than search) as part of their plan to bring properties in-house rather than outsource, they've got a lot going that could prove very useful to Ask going forward. Google hasn't got the in-house features, and looking at the traffic AOL sends, even with using Google Search, it's a mere fraction of what Ask sends (daily); and from my view and experience, they've got the same type of demographic.
Here's the 2005 thread from when Yahoo acquired Flickr [webmasterworld.com] and I finally found the press release in which Terry Semel's long range plans for Yahoo were mentioned. From 2001: YAHOO! TO ACQUIRE HOTJOBS [docs.yahoo.com]
Mr. Semel continued, "The acquisition of HotJobs is consistent with our strategy of building a diversified global business by developing deeper relationships and more valuable solutions in key verticals for our consumers and business partners.
[edited by: Marcia at 2:00 am (utc) on Mar. 2, 2008]
Interesting to note that others here believe as I do, that Ask's Teoma software is very good. I do not use Ask for most searches, but when I'm doing important research on the web, I always give them a try. It is most always worthwhile.
The web needs several good search engines with different ways of looking at the world.
[edited by: weeks at 2:12 pm (utc) on Mar. 3, 2008]
I can't think of any reason why Ask would use Google.
More money maybe? Right now it is a good time to extort good consessions from Google in light of Microsoft/Yahoo situation - I am sure Microsoft would be interested in getting their own stuff (however bad it is) used at Ask as it would allow to capture few more percents of market share.
I'm really not a big fan of teoma's algo. The results seem stale when compared to Google & Yahoo.
That's not because of the algorithm. That's because they can't afford to crawl as often as Google. Nor can they afford to index in as great a depth as Google.
Unfortunately, both of these issues limit the usefulness of Ask. You just can use Ask for searches on current affairs, etc.
An interesting question arises should Ask no longer qualify as a search engine: who would come in fourth place?
[edited by: tedster at 11:22 pm (utc) on Mar. 4, 2008]
The company found that about 65 percent of its user base are women, with a high concentration of users in their late 30s in the U.S. Midwest and Southeast. That contrasts with the wider search market, where women account for closer to 48 percent of users.
"If we can do a better job of understanding who these customers are and answering their questions, we will grow," Safka said. He was due to outline the strategy to staff on Tuesday.
In other words, time to make some real changes.